Friday, May 22, 2009

Work and School

Wow, I am way behind in posting! There is so much to write about that I will just give a brief overview of the things that have been happening in our family. I have been working part-time for 5 months now and I love my job. My clients love me and totally appreciate the work I do for them. One of my clients wants to hire me to come and give her bed-baths if she ever goes home from the assisted living faciltiy. She says my baths are like massages and she had never had such a refreshing thing as a bed-bath before. Most people don't have to have one unless they spend a long time in the hospital or nursing facilities. It's amazing how warm water, wash cloths, soap and a little scubbing can make a person feel so much better!

I also check vital signs as part of my routine and I've gotten pretty good at it. I'm not as scared as I used to be about taking someones blood pressure. I used to find it hard to be so close to a stranger in order to get their blood pressure but now it is not so hard. But I haven't had to take a reading on a cute guy stranger so that may seem unnerving at first.

One of the people I work with is a Nurse and she is like a mentor to me. If I have any questions, I can always count on her to give me the answer I need and she respects all questions that I ask, whether big or small. She gave me the confidence to apply to Weber State University in order to start working towards becoming a Nurse. She thinks I will make a good one. I only hope so!

I applied to WSU and crossed my fingers becuase I had never applied to a university before. I was so happy when I opened my acceptance letter! One major goal for myself can be checked off my list! Next, I began applying for financial aid. I also applied for a scholarship that is given to non-traditional students going back to school. I won't find out about financial aid and scholarships that I will get until after the semester starts. We'll see how it goes. I'm figuring out how to make the system work for me. We have some money in Savings and the federal system thinks that is what you should use to pay for education. Never mind the fact that we are trying to be self-reliant and saving that money in case of emergencies. We will need to put that in IRA's or something in order to be eligible for pell grants. The same goes for stocks- they are assets and will make you unable to get grants. It doesn't matter if you have a lot of debt like we do for a second business. You can't have too many assets or you are penalized. IRA's are not counted as an asset. You could have a million dollars in that and still be able to get pell grants if your income wasn't too much.

If a person lost their job, they could go to school and get quite a bit of financial help- especially if they go to school full-time. Since I'm going to school part-time right now, I'm not eligible for a lot of scholarships. I may go to school full-time in the fall if we can afford not having my part-time income. We'll have to figure out the numbers soon since I need to apply for financial aid for fall soon. When I apply, I need to know if I will be going full-time or not. This summer is considered part of the '08-'09 school year and required different forms than the '09-'10 school year that starts in the fall.

I'm sorry if all of this is boring to those of you who are through with their degrees. It is quite a different experience for me to be navigating this arena as an adult over age 30 with children. I hope that by sharing my experience, I can make it easier for others who want to go back to school.

A couple of weeks ago I went to orientation and I was surprised at how many adult students there were. Especially in the Health Science Department which is what I'm going into. I am not positive that I will be going into Nursing, but I know that working in the health sciences is what I want to do. I am working towards getting an Associate of Science in Health Sciences right now. That will cover all pre-requisites for Nursing as well as other good to know and easy to transfer credits for other programs like Respiratory Therapy and Radiology. The two previous programs I mentioned are interesting to me as well. Radiology is always on the cutting edge of health science and respiratory therapy is needed for those who have asthma, emphysima and other lung realted disorders/diseases. Respiratory therapy can be done as part of home health services which makes the hours flexible.

I have registered for classes and taken the placement tests. I was very nervous about my math placement test but luckily someone recomended going to the site and spending three or more hours on that to brush up on math skills. That was great advice! It really helped me and probably saved me $600 or more on a math class. I placed in math 1010 which is Intermediate Algebra. Not bad for not having a math class for 15 years or more! Once again, going to really saved me money by helping me place into a higher math class.

New update- since I first started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, I've already been to my math class and I'm surprised at how well I'm doing so far. Homework takes forever for me, but I suspect it will speed up once I get the hang of it again. I haven't had to sit and write using paper for so long now, that it's weird doing equations in pencil and paper. Tyler caught me doing homework the other day and he asked me if I need any help. He is a natural when it comes to math and he will most likely be going into Algebra next year- skipping Pre-Algebra. Then he asked me why I was doing my homework in pencil (doesn't everybody do math homework in pencil?) I said told him that I make too many mistakes so I have to go back and erase it. Tyler said he can do his homework in pen because he doesn't make many mistakes! ARGHH! I would love to have his natural abilities with math. He takes after his dad in that area. I have another subject to write about on this blog so I need to end this post. Hope you have learned something from my little journey back to school. Take care!